Column: And Then There Was One

What it’s really like losing a sibling to college endeavors


Cate Taggart, co-copy editor

My whole life I have been surrounded my family and now that my sister has left for college, I feel empty… if a part of me is missing. My best friend is out exploring new parts of the world and I really want to be part of it.

Going from having her around all the time, to her not being there even one day of the week is hard. No more dance sessions in my room or karaoke in the car. I wanted her at home, but I also knew she was out living her life and having the most amazing time. A lot changed when she left, but the change wasn’t what I expected.

My initial reaction was ‘wow.’ I expected my parents’ attention would be on me, but  that turned out to be wrong. The attention remained on my sister.. It’s always ‘how is she doing’ or ‘have you talked to your sister lately?’ I don’t know  if I am ready to publically be in touch with my feelings of missing her, but I know in my heart that I do.

Family dinners were not the same, nothing was. Although I liked being able to sit in my room and not have to answer to anyone after school, it was kind of lonely.

I have one more year of high school and then I will be off on my own adventure, just like her. To survive these next years, something drastic will need to happen. Not a physical change, but an emotional change. My thought process needs to go from me being sad, to me feeling grateful that she is having this opportunity.

I know that it is okay for me to miss her, but it isn’t okay for me to want her to drop everything and come home to be with her family. Although it irritates me that all of the attention remains on her, I am willing to live with it. I call her every day, even though she doesn’t always answer, and play her in iMessage games whenever she is not attending a seminar or a lecture.

Communication is tough because of our work schedules. I make sure that I have a copy of her schedule, and she has a copy of mine. This makes things a lot easier.

My sister’s departure is hard on me, but. I never realized how hard this would be on  my parents. My dad misses her smile and laughter. My mom knows she might not be around for my sister’s  college graduation since her stage IV bone cancer is progressing to her brain. We all miss her in our own ways. The girl I lived with for 16 years moved forward in life. I was stuck in high school.

I know that everything would work out. I have only one year left of high school until I can  live the college experience with her. Calling her and sharing calendars made it all so much easier. and I am determined to work to help us to stick together and hang on to the bond.